Where are the flies?

(19 May 2017) Think back, if you can, 30 or 40 years, to driving cars in the summer and how many insects were destroyed on windscreens and lights. You don’t see that mess anymore. The reason is “the great thinning”: nowadays there are not the volumes of insects out there to hurl themselves at our cars.

My Citroen Deux Chevaux was, in 1976, always covered in insects. Nothing like that nowadays.


In a German study, the volume of insects caught, with the same methods and instruments, declined from 1.6 kg in 1989 to 300 grams in 2014. Worldwide it is estimated that we lost 80% of insects in the past 30 years. It is great not to have to clean the car that often, or to be bothered less by insects while having an outdoors dinner, nevertheless these findings are very worrying.
Not only are insects crucial for the balance in nature, they also are a major food source for lots of animals higher up in the food chain.

Maybe my dog won’t need a fly screen anymore in the future when we go Outback?

Technique
The photo of the blue bottle bush fly was taken at night. The fly was not scared, which gave time to take the photo. f/8 for enough focus, 1/30 second was enough shutter speed to capture the creature in the torchlight. Of course a tripod is necessary and I used my macro 60mm lens. Regarding colors, I do set the white balance of the camera for this specific torch light, to compensate for the distorted color that is the result of the temperature of the artificial light. If you do that once for the torch you will use time and again, then it is a one off only job.